- The Washington Times - Monday, August 25, 2014

Cornel West, the outspoken theological professor who publicly supported then-Sen. Barack Obama as the 2008 Democratic presidential candidate, is now slamming the president as a “brown-faced Clinton” and just “another neoliberal opportunist.”

Mr. West, a professor at Union Theological Seminary, said in an interview with Salon magazine who people like him in the black community were expecting a “Lincoln-like figure” when President Obama assumed the office in 2009.

“The thing is, he posed as a progressive and turned out to be counterfeit,” he said. “We ended up with a Wall Street presidency, a drone presidency, a national security presidency.

“It turned out that he’s just another neoliberal centrist with a smile and with a nice rhetorical flair,” Mr. West said. “And that’s a very sad moment in the history of the nation because we are — we’re an empire in decline … You would think that we needed somebody — a Lincoln-like figure who could revive some democratic spirit and democratic possibility.

“It was like, ‘We finally got somebody who can help us turn the corner.’ And he posed as if he was a kind of Lincoln,” he said. “And we ended up with a brown-faced Clinton. Another opportunist. Another neoliberal opportunist.”

Mr. West also criticized MSNBC host Al Sharpton for injecting himself into the racial unrest in Ferguson, Missouri.

“When you say the name ‘Al Sharpton,’ the word integrity does not come to mind. So you got low-quality black leadership. Al Sharpton is who? He’s a cheerleader for Obama,” he said.